The International Canoe Federation has updated the status of several major canoeing events for the coming months, with several now either postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
All events originally scheduled for May, including the 2020 ICF Paracanoe World Championships and canoe sprint Olympic qualifiers in Duisburg, Germany, and the opening ICF canoe sprint world up in Racice, Czech Republic, have now been officially cancelled.
Pre-Olympic canoe slalom training camps in Tokyo in May, June and July have all been cancelled.
The opening two ICF canoe slalom world cups, set down for June in Ivrea, Italy, and Pau, France, and the 2020 ICF junior and U23 canoe slalom world championships in Tacen, Slovenia, have been postponed until later this year.
The 2020 ICF junior and U23 canoe sprint world championships set down for Brandenburg, Germany, and the ICF canoe marathon world championships and development camp in Baerum, Norway, have all been cancelled.
ICF development camps which were due to be held alongside major events have also been cancelled or postponed, depending on the status of the main event.
The ICF canoe sprint Super Cup which was scheduled for Oklahoma, USA, has also been cancelled. The inaugural ICF canoe sprint non-Olympic world championships set down for Szeged, Hungary, has been postponed to September, and is set to be the only International canoe sprint event of 2020.
This year’s ICF canoe polo world championships in Rome, will now be held in April next year, while the 2020 ICF canoe ocean racing world championships in Portugal is still scheduled to take place in September.
ICF secretary general, Simon Toulson, said the ICF remains committed to hosting international events this year, however several important factors are involved in the decision making.
“We have to ensure the health of our athletes is guaranteed in the vicinity of the venue, and that coronavirus is under control in the region,” Mr Toulson said.
“We also want to make sure athletes have had the opportunity to have between six weeks and eight weeks training before an event, and that national federations have at least the same amount of time to finalise selections for events or hold national competitions.
“And importantly, any event that is held will need to be accessible for the vast majority of countries and athletes around the world. This means the coronavirus threat will need to be brought under control internationally before we can host events. We are working several month in advance with organisers to decide if the event is viable or not”
Mr Toulson said the ICF will continue to review the situation every 15 days and is also working on a new 2021 event program which will factor in Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers for Tokyo.